HE’S BACK: A file picture of Murray Brown in action for the Mullumbimby Giants in 2006.
HE’S BACK: A file picture of Murray Brown in action for the Mullumbimby Giants in 2006.

Giants select former captain

MULLUMBIMBY have elevated former premiership-winning captain and fullback Murray Brown to first grade for their clash with Ballina at Mullumbimby tomorrow.

Brown, who led the Giants to a premiership in 2007, has not been sighted in the top grade this season after signing on the last possible day for 2009.

“We signed him on June 30, the last day you can, and he’s made a progressive comeback,” coach Wayne Cullen said.

“He’s played a few games in reserve grade and we’ve brought him on slowly but now we have him right for the back end of the season.

“As a club we’ve had so many injuries in the outside backs so he’s a great acquisition for us.”

However, Brown will play on the wing rather than fullback against the Seagulls.

“Troy McArthur has been doing a fantastic job for us back there and we’re sticking with the old theory that if it’s not broken don’t fix it,” Cullen said.

Meanwhile, Marist Brothers have also reinstated a former premiership player with Cameron Paine earning his first run-on start for the Brethren in their match against Byron Bay at Red Devil Park tomorrow.

Paine, who has played off the bench for the past few games, will resume a combination with Des Maher in the forward pack after they combined to help win premierships in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

“He and Dylan Coleman joined the police together a few years ago and went through the Academy together,” Brothers coach David Krause said.

“He ended up at Warialda but he’s now up at Nimbin and has started playing for us again.”

The Rams lost only by a last-minute field goal to Byron in their previous encounter and a loss to
Brothers could hurt the Red Devils’ premiership aspirations.

Casino RSM and Kyogle will play their own version of the ‘grand final’ at Kyogle today despite both being out of the running for the semi-finals in first grade.

The final round of the Local Derby Shield, the symbol of supremacy between the two clubs, will be played for and both are keen to win some silverware after a disappointing season.

The Shield is played out between Under-18s, reserve grade and first grade, and the pointscore is 6-all after the Cougars won the two first-grade games and the Bush Turkeys claimed the lower grades in the earlier rounds.

Casino would have to win the first grade and at least one other game to take the Shield because if the scores remain tied at the end of this round Kyogle will retain the shield.

“Kyogle is the biggest game of the year,” Cougars captain-coach Adrian Robson said.

“We’ve been working towards this game for the past three weeks and all the boys love it.

“There is a massive rivalry between the clubs and a couple of blokes have had blues before. The games are always hotly contested and sometimes fiery.”

And Evans Head football manager Brad Mayes admitted the Bombers would be up against it when they travelled south to take on the Grafton Rhinos at Grafton.

Mayes said it had been a long, hard season for the inexperienced Evans Head squad, which is now starting to struggle with injuries and the fact both their lower grades are taking precedence because they are likely to figure in the semi-finals.

In other games, Murwillumbah host the Tweed Coast Raiders and Grafton Ghosts meet Cudgen at Grafton. Both are important to the make-up of the top five.

Competition points: Lower Clarence 28, Northern United 26, Mullumbimby 24, Byron Bay 22, Grafton Ghosts 20, Cudgen 18, Tweed Coast Raiders 18, Grafton Rhinos 18, Ballina 14, Murwillumbah 10, Marist Brothers 7, Kyogle 7, Casino RSM 7, Evans Head 5.

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